Do You Enjoy Canning?

canning
do you enjoy canning
Do you enjoy canning?
Do you preserve food by placing it an airtight can or jar (Webster)?
Well, I enjoy canning. And I have for many year!
canning
do you enjoy canning

I began my own canning journey in the early 1980’s.

I was a young housewife and mother of four young children. Tim and I had just bought an old Victorian home on a double lot and we couldn’t wait to till up a section of our yard for garden space.
We felt like we were homesteaders, of sorts.
We had purchased a wood stove to heat our huge home. We had planted fruit trees around the lot. And now we were going to become gardeners!
Fast forward a couple of summers and I could be found in my little kitchen (it had seven doors off of it) canning everything from our own homemade dill pickles, spaghetti sauce, vegetable soups, etc., etc.
It was thrilling!
canning
do you enjoy canning

source

Now fast forward again to the early 1990’s…..
This was a time when Tim and I had bought out first business.
It was what we referred to as a Mom and Pop IGA Store in a beautiful, little tourist community in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, right on Lake Superior.
Needless to say, my gardening days quickly came to an end. Summertime was when our largest amount of revenue was earned. The community ballooned with summer cottagers and tourist. Tim and I were both working from opening to closing in our little grocery. We barely had time to eat, let alone garden!
canning
do you enjoy canning
Since those days there have been a few other business endeavours…
 But finally, once again, I happily find myself with the time to pursue that long lost love of mine-canning!
Today when I can I still refer to the original canning books that my mother gave me so many years ago.
They are from the 1940’s!
I do always double check with the on-line canning guides to be sure that I following the proper procedure.  So far the 1940’s guide has not differed
 with today’s safe canning guidelines at all.
Well, enough said. Now I’m off to do some actual work.
Today Tim and I are canning the sausage that he put together for us yesterday.
And, who knows, if  the weather is agreeable I might have a tomato or two to can at this summer’s end.
I sure hope so!
*******************************************************

Wildflowers of Northern Ontario

A Collage of Spring Flowers
Last week was an unusual one….
We had several days of warm weather and sunshine followed by a drop to freezing temperatures and snow!
The last two days were warm again-27C (78F).
Yeah.

wildflowers of northern ontario
wildflowers of northern ontario
Yesterday we made a quick trip down to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. While there we always do a bit of shopping.
However, now that the exchange rate makes our Canadian dollar twenty percent less than the US dollar, it isn’t a whole lot cheaper to shop across the border any longer.
We can still get dairy and poultry products for less in the US, so we bought milk, cream, eggs, and cheese.
When passing through customs this trip imagine our surprise when the border agent ask us if we had bought any eggs or chickens.
What?
After the usual “Do you have any alcohol or tobacco to claim?”, “Are you bringing any firearms across?” “Did you purchase any produce while visiting the states?”
He ask, “Did you purchase any eggs or chickens while visiting the states?”
“Yes, why?”
No answer.
“See that green disposal bin over there (he points to one), throw all of your eggs in it.”
We reply “okay” not wanting to hold up a whole line of cars that were behind us with more questions and also knowing that the news is just covered with the tragic bird flu outbreak happening in the US, so this must somehow be related to it.
Well, to make this long story short…
As Tim was disposing of our four dozen eggs (nearly ten bucks worth), he spoke with another border patrol who said that the eggs had been purchased from an Indiana egg farm (one of the states that has been hard hit by this bird flu) and therefore is not allowed in Canada.
I am reporting this as a warning to any of my Canadian friends who may occasionally do grocery shopping across the border.
I wish I could have been forewarned.
I am just so grateful that Tim changed his mind about purchasing chicken or our loss would have been so much greater!
wildflowers of northern ontario
Wildflowers of Northern Ontario

Before I wrap this post up for the day I have a question…

Can anyone tell me what this perennial plant is?
It has a very sweet fragrance to it.
I am wondering if it isn’t a herb…
Please let me know before I poison myself by trying to make a tea from it.
Just kidding!
I have an announcement to make tomorrow, so please come back to find out what it is.
It is very important!!!
Until then-Kimberly
 

Black Bears in Northern Ontario

black bears
Black Bears in Northern Ontario

Today was a Beary Good Day!

I spotted Mother Bear back with her cubs on the ski hill behind our home this morning.
The cubs were babies last year. They say that they will remain with their mother for this year.  Then when they are two years old, next year, they will go out on their own.
I brag that I am an expert on bears now because I devour any nature program that pertains to these beautiful creatures.
Ha!
You may remember that Black Bears were fairly regular visitors when I lived on Lake Superior. If you would like to see a video you may look back to one of my older post
I don’t believe that I told you that this last Christmas I bought Tim one of those nature cams. He, just last week, mounted it on a tree  facing the creek that flows in the rear of our property.
I am hoping that while we are sleeping Momma Bear may pass by so we can have a good close up of her. I had to use my zoom  for the above photo, but it doesn’t begin to capture her true size and beauty.
This is all I have to report today, ladies.
I’ll be back with those photos if I’m lucky…
Blessings-Kimberly

Machine Embroidery Knitting Bag

Yes, pinch me!
Because I have finally finished the Machine Embroidery Knitting bag I have been working on for my MIL.
As many of you know my own Mother passed away a little over two years ago. I try to concentrate on what a wonderful mother she was and not on my loss and just how much I miss her on this special day, but it isn’t always easy…
 Tim and I are especially appreciative that we still have his mother here with us though. She is the last remaining of our parents now.
For Mother’s Day I wanted to make my MIL a special gift. The knitting bag is a combination of machine embroidery and cross stitching.
Nana (our children’s name for her) and I went to a very nice women’s tea on Saturday.
It was one of the nicest teas I had been to in recent years-real cucumber sandwiches and yummy tarts, followed by several cups of  good strong tea!
In case you haven’t caught on yet, the photos are of the knitting bag that I made for her as a Mother’s Day gift!
You might remember that I had finished the cross stitching panel while we were in the Yukon, the rest I put together this last week.
Believe it or not, the very hardest part of the whole bag was sewing the X stitched reinforcements.
I wanted them to look perfect!
Did you notice the beautiful pink embroidered flower located on the centre brown panel?
 It was created with my new embroidery machine..
Naturally, my mind is just spinning with all sorts of plans for this little Brother of mine.
But before I can have any fun with the new machine I have to devote myself to making two Quiet Books for our two youngest grandsons for Nana to deliver to them when she heads back down south to visit.
Wish me luck, as I’ve got a feeling they are going to be a whole lot of work after looking at all of the little pattern pieces I’m going to have to cut and sew.
I hope you all had a great Mother’s Day and I also hope you don’t get the snow they are predicting for me here tomorrow!
Blessings-Kimberly